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Smoky Chickpea, Lentil & Cabbage Stew with Kale

Smoky chickpea, cabbage, and lentil soup with kale is hearty, deep and rich with flavour, rich in plant-based protein, and easy to prepare!
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword cabbage, chickpeas, chili, garlic, kale, lentils, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, tamari, tomatoes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 -8


  • 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup French OR brown lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups finely chopped green cabbage (about ½ small savoy/green cabbage)
  • 1 15- oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 28- oz can crushed tomatoes (I prefer fire-roasted)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups chopped kale, lightly packed
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free tamari soy sauce
  • 3-4 drops liquid smoke (optional)


  • Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once heated, pour in the oil. Add the onions and carrots to the pot and stir. The vegetables should sizzle, but just barely. Continue to saute until the onions are very soft and starting to break down, about 5 minutes. If vegetables begin to brown too fast, lower the heat a bit.
  • Add the paprika, thyme, and garlic to the pot and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste to the pot and continue to stir until the raw/tin-y flavour of the tomato paste is cooked out, about 1 minute. Season everything with salt and pepper.
  • Add the lentils, cabbage, and chickpeas to the pot and stir to coat in the spices and oil. Season everything again with salt and pepper. Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock to the pot and stir.
  • Place a lid on the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, remove the lid, and cook uncovered until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes.
  • Once the lentils are tender, stir in the chopped kale and bring the soup back up to a boil. Cook until kale is bright green and tender, about 1 minute. Stir in the tamari and liquid smoke (if using). Check the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve the smoky chickpea, lentil, and cabbage soup hot!


  • I realize that I am a broken record about vegetable stock, but I always recommend making your own! I have a great, simple recipe here. I’ve also made this slightly more involved one from Bon Appetit and it’s delicious.
  • I used Savoy cabbage, but regular green cabbage is great too.
  • This recipe freezes well minus the kale. Just stir in chopped kale as you reheat portions of it!
  • Optional, delicious things to add to this soup: chili flakes to taste, chopped rosemary (1 teaspoon), 1 chopped leek, chopped new potatoes (2 medium), chopped fennel (1 bulb)